Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Baby Shower Pictures

Here are a few pictures from the baby shower. Thanks again to Laura and Jeff for hosting the shower and Sarah and Eowyn for helping me to clean the house.

Rich was there for part of the time because I asked him to take Bella out of the house for the shower so everyone would not end with covered in pug hair and have to fight that little monster for food. He took her to the doggie boutique to shop, then to Petco and then to the dry cleaner. He is going to be a very good dad.

I just adore these shoes!!!!!! And they matched the decoration.

I'm beached on the couch covered in baby clothes.

Nothing like a big girl in a brightly patterned muumuu.

Sarah, me, Eowyn


The news keeps getting better and better. I just talked to the nurse at my OB's office and she said all of my lab work came back normal. In fact, my OB wrote "AWESOME!" on the lab results because she was so surprised. Women pregnant with multiples are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop gestational diabetes which is why it was such a surprise when my blood sugar came back normal after the glucose tolerance test. The rest of the labs looked good also so for now I don't need to worry about some of the things that are common in high order multiple pregnancies such as anemia and liver problems.

They are also watching me closely for signs of pregnancy induced high blood pressure- also called preeclampsia. In singleton pregnancies, 1 in 20 women will develop this but with multiples, my chances are 1 in 5 of developing preeclampsia. Right now my blood pressure is 112/60 which is actually much higher than my non-pregnant baseline but within normal limits.

I'm starting to go the OB or perinatologist on a weekly basis so I can continued to be monitored for all of these potential complications. It was funny, my OB thought I would be upset that I had to come in so often but I'm looking forward to the weekly reassurance that what I'm doing is actually paying off. Plus, it is the only way I'm allowed out of the house and I always make some sort of stop at a drive-thru on my way home. I'm a total tattletale (right Sarah and Isaac?) and I tattled on myself and told my OB that I go through drive-thrus rather than go straight home to bed after my appointments and she thought that was an excellent idea even giving me suggestions on what she would eat if she was on a high calorie diet. My next appointment is a week from tomorrow (Friday) when I see both the perinatologist and the cardiologist and I'm already planning where I'm stopping with my limited approved freedom!

Week 29 Sonogram and Newman Weigh In

I went to the OB yesterday for a sonogram, weigh in for all of us, fetal fibronectin test and a glucose tolerance test to see if I had developed gestational diabetes.

The bed rest seems to be the golden ticket because they weren't even sure that they needed to so a fetal fibronectin test again this week because my cervix looked good. They did anyway and it was negative again which is great. I'm still waiting on the results of my glucose tolerance test to see if I have gestational diabetes. My OB said she was sure that I would have it because of the number of placentas so she recommended that I eat something sweet because I'd be banned from sweets until I deliver. If I do have gestational diabetes I'll have to start with the finger sticks and insulin shots but again, it usually goes away once I deliver.

I have this very strange rash on my upper arms that is incredibly itchy and keeps me awake at night scratching like a maniac. Nothing seems to help, not even cortisone cream or aloe. The only thing that helps is Benadryl which knocks me out like I've been hit on the head with a frying pan and when I wake up the next day makes me feel like I've been dancing on tables drinking slushy, salty, lime margaritas the night before. So I'm trying to just take half a Benadryl and quench my taste for margaritas with Limeades from Sonic. My OB said there was really nothing else that would help and it will go away when I deliver. Hmm, that seems to be a recurrent theme....

The only picture they could get was this side profile of Baby A's face. You can see how crowded they are because there is someone else's foot in the the top of the picture. I don't know which of the two girls keeps kicking him in the face because the same thing was going on 2 weeks ago. At this point, they are just so crowded that any picture is difficult since the two little girls are facing backwards and very busy torturing their brother.


Baby A- 3 lbs, 1 oz

Baby B- 2 lbs, 15 oz

Baby C- 2 lbs, 13 oz

Big Mama Newman- not telling!

Let's just say that everyone is right on track with their growth. I've hit a new milestone with my weight. For the first time in my life, I now weigh more than my dad, Isaac and Rich (thankfully not combined). I think at this point I can switch to from high fat and high protein to low fat and high protein food.

But I guess it is paying off because they are all around 3 lbs which is a huge milestone in the preemie baby world. It is a little scary because I have almost 9 lbs of baby at only 29 weeks and starting at 30 weeks, singleton babies gain about 1/2 lb a week so if I go to my goal week, these little pumpkins might double in size.

Who knows, they might just be fat, bald, and with a double chin like me when I was little. (Sarah is the one who actually looks like a girl.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Week 28- Shower and Visitors

Thank you to Laura and Jeff for throwing me a baby shower on Saturday. The shower was awesome and they were so flexible with the planning because it had to be at my house at the last minute because of the whole bed rest thing. Thank you to the wonderful hosts and to all of those who came over in the rain to see me beached on the couch. Being house bound and not working for the first time in years is very isolating and just seeing everyone’s smiling face really lifted my spirits. I’ll post the pictures when I get them electronically because they did a wonderful job and it was so nice to see everyone.

Not only were we fortunate enough to have a baby shower but my sister Sarah and cousin Eowyn were here for the weekend. We grew up together and three of us probably have not been together since the summer of 2005 so it really was a great weekend. At one point I was floating in the pool and Eowyn and Sarah were doing yard work, planting flowers, and painting shelves in the 90 degree heat and they had a flashback to when we were little. They claim that when we were younger and had to do things like dishes or clean the house or move bricks (when my dad rebuilt the chimney) or haul wood (we heated our house with a wood stove) that I would either:

a) Say I had to go the bathroom and sit in the bathroom for 2 hours, or
b) Fake an injury such as a “hurt knee” so I wouldn’t have to help

I think the bathroom thing is legitimate. I mean, I’m lactose intolerant living in the dairy state. Give me a break.

Anyway, they think the whole triplet/bed rest/pregnancy thing might be an elaborate rouse to get people to come and visit, cook, clean and redecorate my house while I lay around. It does seem like a clever idea and I haven’t had any sonogram pictures in quite some time but I can assure you, I really am pregnant with 3 babies. I would rather move bricks, chop wood, paint, cook and clean than endure this kind of weight gain and loss of independence. But I'm flattered that they think I would be smart enough to think up such an elaborate scheme.

The only picture I took was a minor accident involving paint. A new can of paint (unopened) was on top of the grill outside because Sarah was getting ready to paint some shelves in the garage and a gust of wind blew the grill cover up knocking the paint can to the ground splattering blue paint everywhere. The pugs tried to walk in it and then we had to rescue the beer bottles that were nearby (they were not mine!). It was all very exciting.

This is towards the end of the clean-up effort.

More paint clean up and Sarah just clocked herself in the head by running into the hanging plant.

(You can tell I was very helpful cleaning because you can see me in the reflection of the window taking the pictures)
On Monday after Sarah and Eowyn left and Rich went back to work I was very sad but then my step-mom Bambi arrived Monday night for the week to help out. She is very good about keeping me on track with my daily intake of 160 grams of protein and an excellent cook so I’m back in the swing of things again stuffed full of pregnancy sun tea, beef stroganoff and turkey green chili enchiladas.

I go back to the doctor on Wednesday for a sonogram, fetal fibronectin test, and another test to see if I have developed gestational diabetes. I'm dying to know how big the babies are now because it seems like I'm getting bigger by the hour and I'm hoping all this food is going to them and not just my thighs and butt like I'm imagining.

Today I feel pretty good but it really goes day to day. For example, Tuesday I had a terrible headache that lasted for 24 hours, some nausea and I was very swollen and wasn’t sure that being like that for another 9 weeks or so seemed like a good idea. But, that was short lived and I’m looking forward to the weekend when Rich will be home. He is VERY good about bringing me treats like flowers and cupcakes. I hope he reads this before he comes home!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Day 18 of Bed Rest and a Good Start to Week 27

Good news from the visit with my perinatologist on Tuesday. It looks like my bed rest is paying off because he said I was doing much better. My cervix has lengthened from 2 weeks ago and the fetal fibronectin test was negative, again! This means that if I continue to rest and drink lots of water that I have a 99% chance that I will not deliver in the next 2 weeks. He said I looked much better, less tired and less stressed which is true not to mention less swollen.

I still have abdominal tightening when I stand or shift positions but he thought it was not true contractions if they go away with rest and hydration and as he said, "You have 3 good reasons why you are feeling that way." So basically, it everything stretching and trying to accommodate the weight and pressure and is normal.

They tried really hard to get pictures but it is very difficult because everyone is all jumbled up. We thought we had a good picture of Baby A but then when they zoomed in, Baby B was kicking him in the face so her foot was blocking the picture. And Baby C changed positions and now is behind the other two so unless she moves again, we might be out of luck with her. I thought she had moved because on Sunday night right after eating a bunch of spicy Indian food I got all hot and uncomfortable and looked at my stomach and I had something sticking out of one side and I looked all lopsided. That's gone away so she was probably making her way behind the other two which is why I looked so crazy.

They also just looked at the heart beats and amount of amniotic fluid but I won't get all of the other measurements and weights again for 2 more weeks. One of the babies really liked to put their feet in the way so just for fun they measured the trouble making foot and it is 5 cm long. If you look how big 5 cm is it gives you an idea of still how little and vulnerable they still are and why it is so important that they cook another 8 weeks or so.

It has been beautiful in Texas the last couple of days and I have been going in the pool which is a nice break from the couch and the bed. Also, I have theory that tan fat looks better than white fat and when you are on a weight gain regime, all the self esteem boost I can get at this point is important.

Poor Isaac and my mom got a good look of me in a bikini. I'm not wearing my old string bikinis because I didn't want to stretch them in out in the far fetched hope that I can wear them again someday. I did break down and buy maternity bikini bottoms and a VERY supportive bikini top because according to Rich- for legal purposes we probably need to register my chest as assault weapons with the Department of Defense. Nice.

Here is another belly picture that I love because Isaac's belly looks like it is smiling.

And a side shot

(I think Isaac is sticking out his belly to make me feel better.)

I've tried to get Rich to get in on the pictures for comparison purposes but he refused. But I'm going to blackmail him because I have pictures from the other day of him in his Spandex biking outfit which I know he really does not want posted. Therefore, soon you will see pictures of my husband's hairy belly next to mine or pictures of Rich in Spandex. The choice is up to him.

I haven't shown my face in the last few pictures because most of time I'm in pajamas, unbrushed hair (I'd be surprised if I don't have dreadlocks by the end of this) and no make up. I'll try to get myself a little more ready for the next one so you can see the glamourous pictures of a swollen 27 week triplet preggo lady.

I had a very nice surprise for Mother's Day because my mom was here. She was very busy doing laundry, cleaning, organizing my closet and sorting baby clothes. I thought I had my obsession over cleaning on hold while on bed rest but I didn't realize that I was just pretending not be worried about sweeping, water spots, foot prints on the white tile floor- you get the picture. I had a huge sense of relief when she was cleaning and organizing like a weight had been lifted. She also set up a little nest of things for me next to the couch like water bottles, i-pod, phones, my computer, notebooks, books, vitamins and so forth so I have everything within reach. Now all I need is a long stick with a hand on the end so I can pet the pugs without getting up or poke them when they are snoring.

My sister Sarah (from Wisconsin) and my cousin Eowyn (from San Diego) are arriving tonight to stay for the weekend. I'm going to convince my sister that a very good sisterly thing to do would be give me a pedicure because I can't bend over. We'll see how well that goes over.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Week 26

I’m trying to be very good and stay horizontal or just propped on one side as much as possible. According to my OB and research, a compliant patient on home bed rest is just as good as hospital bed rest so I’m trying to avoid an extended hospital stay by following doctor orders. I can tell that inactivity is taking a toll; either that or the babies are sapping my energy. I’m pretty tired each time I get up out of bed or off the couch and I have abdominal tightening. I don’t know if it is really contractions or Braxton-Hicks (false labor) or what is going on but it is scary enough to make me scurry (or waddle to be more precise) right back to bed. I’m fine once I lay down again so that is the good news. I have another sonogram next Tuesday with my perinatologist and they will so all the same tests as last week. Hopefully everything has stayed the same and they will just tell me to keep doing what I’ve been doing. As painful and tiresome as bed rest can be I know every bite, glass of water and day counts as what is best for the babies.

Of course my goal of 37 weeks seems totally absurd but absurdity is the name of the game these days especially when it comes to heartburn.

My nemesis on bed rest has been heartburn. The amount of water/food I have to consume paired with staying mostly horizontal (not to mention my organs getting pushed up) makes for terrible heartburn. Sometime I wake up in middle of the night dry heaving from the burning. For some reason, this seems to happen more frequently when Rich is around. I mean, a girl can’t help being a little dramatic to remind her husband how uncomfortable this whole process can be.
Nothing seemed to help, including Rx medications, until some friends of Papa and Bambi in Wisconsin sent a special gift of Eastern medicine. My heartburn is helped by these little Chinese candies made of haw, sugar and water.

I was eating them like candy (because they are!) and then I thought I should probably look into this a little further. This is what I found out:

Haw, or hawthorn fruit promotes digestion, removes stagnated food, activates the flow of qi, promotes blood circulation, removes blood stasis, and expels worms.

I don’t have any worms and if I did, I don’t anymore and the rest of that seemed pretty good so I eat haw candy after every meal. Who knew a little candy is better than a prescription.
Speaking of creepy crawly things, we have a slug problem in the garden. I like to think of them as snails. This is what they have done to my plants.

So my plan is to set up a little snail bar next to the plants and get the snails so drunk they fall into their drink and drown. In other words, put out cups of beer and hope there are dead slugs in there in the morning. Isaac went to the gas station and bought the beer that he thought slugs would like most- Budweiser- so we will see how successfully he selected the beer by the number of slugs in the morning.

I haven’t totally lost my mind; I’ve had a few people say this might help. But for back up, my dad did spray with Slug-O but the whole tricking the slugs into getting drunk seems much more interesting and I need all the entertainment I can get these days.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Why don’t you work while I watch?

Papa and Bambi were here W-Sunday for round 2 of house projects. I pretty much stayed on the couch observing while they worked their tails off doing such things as:

Painting (including the ceiling) and grouted the guest bathroom

Washed windows(outside)(and inside!!!)

Planted pots, picked weeds, mulched and planted in my outside beds and moved plants to different places in the yard where they might do better in the TX heat(Bella was trying to help and got a head full of mulch)

Made lots of yummy high protein food(This is actually a picture of cupcakes Rich bought for me but I was pretending they were high protein)

They also washed all of my linens. If you want to make someone on bed rest ecstatically happy, wash their linens. I love the smell and feel of fresh sheets, especially if they have been hung outside to dry and are a little scratchy. I know that sound weird but it reminds of when I was little and we used to hang the sheets on the clothes line to dry and the sheets would smell so fresh like outdoors. Except you have to be careful in WI when you hang your clothes on the line because if they happen to be spreading manure nearby, the whole plan backfires and you would been better off using the dryer.

And Rich just walked in and said, “I think I’ve got this cleaning thing down.” He is an excellent dish washer and dish dryer. He even checked to make sure he was using the right kind of dish towel for the dishes. I know that sounds crazy but I have a whole system where some are for cleaning up messes, some are for your hands, some are for dishes and some are for decoration so it is going to take some time to figure out my system.

Here is the latest belly picture. I would say to guess which one is me but I’m hoping the hair (belly and hanging down in the picture) gives it away.
Looks like my belly is getting bigger than my Papa. And if you are wondering why my belly button looks so strange, it is because I'm pregnant. Just kidding! For some reason the scar around my belly button from my gall bladder surgery turned brown. All these changes are quite fascinating as long as I know they are just temporary!

We’ll have to see how my belly compares to Isaac when he comes to visit tomorrow. He’s staying for several nights and then my mom comes on Friday. Rich is headed back to Detroit tomorrow so I’ll just be by myself for the day until Isaac arrives. And the “nurses” were back today for lunch so I’ve been so fortunate with all of my visitors and people to help me stay busy. And having Rich and my dad and Bambi here for the first days of bed rest was extremely helpful because it helped for me to develop a routine and know that my head will not spin off in terror if the counter does not get wiped down with my special mix of cleaners after every meal. And it really is a secret special mix that I make. Martha Stewart would probably voluntarily go back to jail in order to get her hands on my recipe.

Friday, May 1, 2009

It finally happened. I’m officially on bed rest. Sorry for the long delay in updating but now I’ll have lots of time to update on the exhilarating life of bed rest.

Here’s a short version of how it all went down. The detailed version follows.

4/24- Told to stop working while during a sonogram my cervix shortened to within 1 mm of bed rest when I had a contraction
4/27- Home bed rest ordered after another sonogram.
4/28- Check to see if I was dilated and a fetal fibronectin test (predicts labor within 2 weeks)
NO and negative meaning holding off on steroid shots to promote lung development
4/29- 25 WEEKS!! Papa and Bambi here
4/30- Lying on the couch watching Rich, Papa and Bambi do projects, cook, laundry and bring me high protein snacks

Here’s the long version:
On Friday (4/24) I had echocardiograms of hearts of all of the babies. We found out that both Baby B and Baby C have an identical heart defect in the same place called a ventricular septal defect which I talked about before. When the cardiologist looked at B and said something about the VSD of course I thought he was really looking at C because we already knew that about C and those little rascals move like crazy. But both girls have the same thing in the same place. Hmmm, maybe they are identical after all…

This defect for each is very small is in an ideal spot because they think when the hearts grows, it will grow around the hole, maybe before birth or maybe within a few months. Everything else looked fantastic (valves, pressures, measurements). The skill and technology is truly amazing. The heart of the little boy looked great but I’ll tell you more about that little troublemaker in a minute.

Then I walked down the hall to my perinatologist and they measured growth and looked at organ development. They are compared on a singleton growth chart and even on that they looked great.
Baby A: 1 lbs, 9 oz
Baby B: 1 lbs, 10 oz
Baby C: 1 lb, 8 oz

They noticed A, the boy had changed positions. Where before all 3 were across, or transverse. Now, the boy is head down, ready to rock on roll which I think is what is contributing to all of this trouble. Then they were measuring my cervix and noted that it had shortened but still okay and then all of the sudden it got really quiet and all 4 sets of eyes of the staff were as big as saucers. Someone said, “Did you feel that?” I really didn’t know what they were talking about because when your uterus is the size of a small watermelon, nothing too much gets you riled up unless you get kicked in bladder. I guess I had some sort of contraction while they were watching and my cervix shortened to 26 mm. 25 mm is the start of bed rest so I contracted to within 1 mm of bed rest. I was put on restricted activity meaning I had to quit work, limited walking around the house with occasional outings to maybe dinner or a movie with follow up on Monday with my OB.

And I didn’t even get any pictures. I had been getting either echoes or a sonogram for 3 ½ hours and they were perfectly behaved until it was picture time then they all faced backwards and refused to move.

My restricted activity lasted 3 days. On Monday I went back to my OB and my cervix had shortened further so I was put on bed rest. Bed rest is staying horizontal to combat the gravitational force with the intention of preventing or halting pre-term labor. I’m allowed to use the bathroom, get up to eat a meal and shower once a day. No lifting my precious little Pickles (20 lbs partially blind pug) onto the bed. No walking the dogs. No sitting up for long periods of time.

I had been told to expect this but it was a little more sudden and sooner than I had hoped.

The following day I went back to the OB and they checked to see if I was dilated and to do a fetal fibronectin test. This test is a good negative predictor of going into labor in the next 2 weeks. If it is negative I have a 99% chance that I will NOT go into labor within 2 weeks. A positive result is not as good of a predictor but it means that labor is more likely and they would start to think about steroid injections to help mature the lungs and probably more monitoring and restrictions.

I found out on Wednesday the test was negative (PHEW!) but in the meantime, Rich came home from Detroit on Tuesday night to help out. He is very patient and a quick study. In case anyone is wondering, he now knows how to separate the white clothes from the dark when doing laundry, how to separate egg whites from the yolks to make me eggs in the morning and the importance of daily Swiffering to pick up pug hair. I also have a bell next to my bed that I can ring when I need something. He doesn’t really like the bell so I try to reserve it for emergencies.

My dad and Bambi arrived on Wednesday night for round 2 of house projects. Between that and 6 girls from work coming over to have lunch on Wednesday (Rich likes to be here with 7 “nurses” as he called them and I’m a little surprised he didn’t fake a cardiac arrest), I’ve not been bored.

The other good news is that now that I’m no longer on my feet, my legs are not swollen and are about half the size they were last week. I should have taken a picture of my swelling. I love gross medical pictures so that would have been a keeper for my treasure collection.

So now I have lots of time to look at the internet, take silly pictures and think about how to pack in 160 grams of protein in a day which has been my latest challenge. Stay tuned...